Fantastic Odysseys on ZineQuest now

Until the end of the month, Fantastic Odysseys, an A4 magazine supporting OpenQuest and related D100 games, is on Kickstarter’s ZineQuest.

If you back now, within the first two days of launch, you will receive the mini-zine The Terror of Fishstop Island.

Here’s the cover by Dan Barker.

Fantastic Odysseys Issue 1 cover by Dan Barker

Fantastic Odysseys

OpenQuest 3rd Edition is getting along nicely three years after its initial release. With a range of supplements (such as OpenQuest Companion and OpenQuest Dungeons) gradually emerging as support. This website has a decent amount of traffic, as does the SRD in both online and downloadable form, and the OpenQuest channel on the D101 Discord Server is nicely busy. But there’s something to my mind that the game is missing.

I tend to overwrite, and I have a ton of small bits of adventures and articles that don’t have an obvious home. Also, I’m missing doing Hearts in Glorantha, a Gloranthan Fanzine I published between 2008-2018. As well as being nice to produce a fanzine, it was a nice way to establish contact with new artists and writers.

So late last year, the idea of doing a zine in much the same format but for OpenQuest and related games popped into my head. I asked Dan Barker to do a logo. Earlier in the year, he showed me an illustration he was doing for fun, and my imagination came up with a short adventure to explain what the hell the monster was. So here’s the cover for the first issue.

Fantastic Odysseys Issue 1 cover by Dan Barker

ZineQuest, Kickstarter’s February promotion, is always fun to do. I’ve previously done Into the Shroud for Crypts and Things, and Grogzilla, a fanzine for D101 Games overall. So why not launch Fantastic Odyssey there and hopefully bring it to a wider audience?

But wait, the zine also has a Patreon!  Well, everyone else seems to have a Patreon, so why not me? As well as allowing me to focus on getting the magazine produced and other bits of OpenQuest done and be paid a monthly amount in return for previews and exclusive access to drafts and blog posts, the Patreon lets me do stuff outside of the magazine, such as video and podcasts.

So overall, Fantastic Odysseys lets me

  • Promote OpenQuest and Related D100 games that D101 is putting out.
  • Link up with new writers and artists for future publications.
  • Get stuff off my hard drive that fits the magazine format.
  • Have a Patreon with Video, Podcasts, and other fun things for my supporters.
  • Enjoy OpenQuest and other D100 during the long haul between full releases.

Here are those links again.

OpenQuest Dungeons now available

OpenQuest Dungeons is now available via the D101 Games web store. This supplement for OpenQuest, which is broadly compatible with other D100 roleplaying games, has advice, resources and three adventures to ease players more familiar with D20 fantasy games into the joys of OpenQuest. PDF is available now, with the printed version on pre-order to ship when I get printed copies back from the printer in a couple of weeks.

OpenQuest Dungeons, cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Dungeons, the Stuff

I’m on the last round of proofing before pdfs go out to backers and go to print proof at, but it occurred to me that OpenQuest Dungeons has a lot of new stuff in it for the game.

OpenQuest Dungeons contains:

  • Five New Religions.
  • Five New Spells.
  • Describes in game terms twenty-six traps.
  • Gives details of three non-human species as playable character options.
  • Four new Ready Made Concepts.
  • Eleven Dungeoneering Actions.
  • Three new Dungeon Adventures.
  • Thirty-two Non-Player character profiles.
  • Six new creatures.
  • Twelve stock non-player characters to use in encounters and as retainers.

The first printed version of OpenQuest.

The first printed version of OpenQuest.

I’m just putting the finishing touches on the book, and I expect the pdf to go to backers this weekend, then off to print proof on Monday, and pre-orders opening then, too.

New page SimpleQuest Releases

Slowly getting back into the swing of things, as the Summer holidays begin to fade, and some important family stuff is finally being resolved. OpenQuest Dungeons is with Dr Mitch for proofing, and I’m working on getting the SimpleQuest supplements (essentially OQ books, too 🙂 ) done.

SimpleQuest now has a release page here, so you can see where I’m up to with it as a game line.

SimpleQuest Kickstarter Banner, art by Jon Hodgson

What’s in OpenQuest Dungeons?

Here’s a breakdown, chapter by chapter, of what OpenQuest Dungeons contains.

Rules Articles

OpenQuest for Dungeoneers.  For Players and Referees, a review of the OpenQuest rules focuses on features allowing them to enter the game from a familiar angle.

Stock Non-player characters.  The twelve ready-made character concepts from the main OpenQuest rulebook (see pages 27 to 30) as full NPC profiles.

Tricks and Traps.  This chapter contains a selection of traps described in OpenQuest game terms to drop into your creations.  Each trap is fully illustrated with wonderful, evocative art from James Shields.

Underworld Deities. A collection of Gods and Goddesses ideal for worship by dungeon dwellers and those who explore them.

The Dungeons

Rather than write an article on how to create dungeons for OpenQuest, I’ve decided to present three dungeon-based Quests that show not tell, how to do it.

The Well. An introductory adventure featuring a small dungeon that takes a single session or evening to play.

Deep In the Hole. A Quest centred on Spearing, a safe haven for the characters to base themselves, where the characters quickly end up down a local dungeon beneath a ruined castle.

The Sorcerer Under the Mountain. In ancient times an evil Sorcerer made Terror Mountain his base and gathered an army of goblinoids. Using the power of the Ring of the Elements, he terrorised the surrounding Elven Forest Kingdom, until the Elven Magi crushed his armies and slew him in response. Now it is said the Sorcerer is back, and someone needs to venture into his dungeon beneath the mountain to determine if this is fact.

This book is currently undergoing proofreading and art requisition, which depending on how I get on it should have a release date in August/September.

OpenQuest Dungeons, cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest Online 2023 Con Report

The original OQ Online idea exploded into my head one morning over coffee. With the anniversary of OpenQuest 3rd Edtion going on general release (July 2021 see the Great OpenQuest Mailout) and having run many successful online games and taking part in online conventions, it was an obvious one.

This year was a bit last minute – previous attempts to run it as a part 2 in 2022 were frustrated by my family situation. I ended up saying, damn it lets do it the same time as we did last year (ie July). Then the week before, when I should have been promoting it to get numbers up, I was away from the office and on a much needed family holiday.

Despite the low turn out, it was a fun thing to run.


“In The Shadow of the Volcano”, Dr Mitch’s game,  set in Ancient Rome, was rescheduled due to personal circumstances.

“What’s Going on with OpenQuest” roundtable went well on Saturday night, with Mitch and me chatting with Jane and Keith about what we are currently working on for OpenQuest. I didn’t record it, which meant I talked freely off the record about a few things, which was nice to get off my chest 😉 Overall, OpenQuest is doing well regarding continuing sales and reputation. OpenQuest is widely regarded as the most approachable of the big three fantasy D100 games (the others being RuneQuest: Glorantha and Mythras). My main focus for the rest of the year is not only getting the adventure/setting books Swords for the Savage North and The Feathers and the Fury out but also getting some other writers on board as well as helping @DrMitch with his Clockwork Palace adventure collection and Year of Four Emperors spin-off game.


Sky Pirates of the Floating Realms. This is a D100-based game. Not OQ directly, but more a continuation of the ideas found in OQ. I produced a Zero Edition yonks ago, back in 2020, and I’m currently working on the first draft of the complete game. I devised a new introductory adventure called Sky Vault Island for this session. This is probably going to be the introductory adventure for the game and follows directly from the introductory story at the start of the book, where the character’s sky ship, the Flying Freedom, crash lands on the sky island that the step pyramid that houses the Great Vault is built on. The players really warmed to the light-hearted fantasy nature of the game without going full gonzo on me and were engaged enough to play out the adventure to its resolution, where it was revealed that “all that glitters is not gold”. A good game that has inspired me further to get this one done and out.

Maximum thanks to Dr Mitch (who co-hosted the talk with me) and the other participants.

Hopefully, the release of OpenQuest on Role VTT soon, will mean we will have more GMs for next year’s event. Also, more promo and notice wouldn’t go amiss 😀 So circle July 2024 for the next OQ online 🙂



OpenQuest Online 2023 July 8-9th now Open for Registration

After the success of last year’s online OpenQuest convention a year on, I’ve decided to do it again.

The schedule is being worked on and will be announced shortly, but register now to attend.

Things planned

  • Games of SimpleQuest, our concise version of OpenQuest, optimised for convention games.
  • Year of the Four Emperors, join Dr Mitch for another outing of his historical fantasy game.
  • Skyraiders of the Floating Realms. Get your inner Sky Pirate on and take to the Infinite Sky in this swashbuckling standalone game, coming later this year.
  • Saturday Night Roundtable. Join Dr Mitch and me in our room of Zoom for a catch-up on all things OpenQuest.

What OpenQuest Dungeons Sets Out to Do

The World’s Favourite Fantasy Roleplaying Game made the Dungeon famous.  You and your players have played that game many, many times.  It’s a safe, familiar option, but you are ready to try something a bit different and have picked up OpenQuest to broaden your and your player’s horizons.

It’s a path that many D100 fans, including myself, have taken.  Those early games where we stuck to the template we already knew and created narrowly defined stereotypes the best we could using the unfamiliar character generation system.  Then we threw our newly created characters into the first battle that came along, hoping to get a reward, ending up grievously wounded and with very little to show.  Sensing the disappointment, the Referee, who had read the rulebook cover to cover, tried to guide the players.

“Did you know you could have talked to them, convinced them with your Influence skill and probably got what you wanted that way?  Or even used your Deception skill, which everyone has, not just thieves, to sneak past them?  Perhaps Ralph’s character, who he’s configured to be more of a magician, yet who can still wield a sword and wears chain mail from his days as a noble, could have cast Protection 3 on Carol’s character, a farmer turned warrior. Then with that Ringmail armour they wear, they would have been invulnerable to those goblin’s attacks?  If you had talked to them, and I know some of you have Goblinoid as a Language skill, you would have learnt they are members of the Bloodied Fang cult and how they are related to the villainous Burning Horde, and that’s the real treasure of this encounter.  It’s a shame you missed that since it opens up all sorts of possibilities.” 

This approach may have mixed results.  It may open up worlds of wonder and opportunities for more expansive play for some players.  Others may be horrified by the perceived density of rules and tactics that they feel are necessary to master to play the game properly.

This book aims to ease both players and Referees into OpenQuest, by using that familiar setting of the Dungeon, starting small and with baby steps, gradually easing everyone into system mastery.

It doesn’t try to replicate the World’s Favourite Fantasy Roleplaying Game’s rules, assets, and feel.  Instead, suppose the players want to start in familiar territory, such as creating a character who has casting magic as a focus. In that case, the book will explain how to do that and then point out where they go after they start naturally breaking out of the limitations of that approach.  And that’s the aim of the OpenQuest rules to provide a vehicle that goes wherever the players want to take their character.

OpenQuest Dungeons cover by Jon Hodgson

OpenQuest is now Creative Commons and on its 2nd Printing

I received the 2nd Printing of OpenQuest this morning from the printers. This, as well as fixing a small number of typos and errors that have come to light since the initial release back in 2021, also sees the removal of the now redundant OGL.  This finalises OpenQuest (via the Systems Resource Document) being released under the Creative Commons.

If you want to see what has changed here’s the change log.

OpenQuest 3rd Edition

The OpenQuest Quickstart

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover by Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Quickstart Cover © Jonny Gray

OpenQuest Companion

The OpenQuest Companion, cover by Jon Hodgson

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